Chiva-Som, a transformative wellness destination, has been a longstanding advocate for holistic approaches, consistently partnering with guests to embark on personalised wellness journeys. Their tailored retreats cater to a spectrum of needs and objectives, from bolstering immune resilience to enhancing physical prowess. We are delighted to present an article from the resort detailing its stance on managing chronic pain and its application in everyday life.
Pain can manifest as a subdued ache or a piercing sting, ranging from mild to severe. It might be localised to a particular region of the body or be more widespread. Acute pain, a typical reaction to injuries or medical issues, is usually transient. In contrast, chronic pain persists beyond the anticipated healing period and often extends for more than three months, either continually or intermittently.
Chronic pain can stem from the natural ageing process or the degradation of bones and joints, as seen with osteoarthritis. Numerous ailments such as fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer can also induce excruciating pain. However, in many situations, pinpointing a single cause remains elusive due to the complexity of diagnosis.
Chronic pain can impede daily tasks like self-care and movement. It can curtail an individual’s capacity to operate normally, work, and socialise. Notably, pain can influence and be influenced by one’s mental state. The perpetual nature of chronic pain can render an individual more prone to depression and anxiety. Conversely, psychological distress can exacerbate the sensation of pain.
While standard medical solutions encompass medication, nerve blocks, and occasionally surgery, there’s a plethora of alternative therapies at one’s disposal. The most effective treatment often varies based on the individual’s specific pain type and intensity.
Alternative approaches to pain alleviation
Physical therapy can be instrumental in mitigating pain resulting from injuries or enduring conditions. Physical therapists employ a combination of exercises and other methods to bolster strength, flexibility, and mobility.
For instance, massage therapy can alleviate muscle tension and pain, augment circulation, and foster relaxation. Acupuncture, an ancient Chinese medicinal practice, involves inserting slender needles at precise body points. This method is believed to activate the body’s inherent pain relief mechanisms, enhancing overall health.
Mind-body techniques to adopt at home
Mind-body practices can diminish stress and tension, subsequently reducing pain intensity. Several techniques are available, including:
- Deep breathing. Identify a serene, comfy spot to sit or lie down. Inhale deeply through your nostrils, pause momentarily, then exhale leisurely through your lips. Repeat multiple times.
- Meditation. Shut your eyes and concentrate on your breathing, inhaling and exhaling at a steady pace. If your thoughts drift, gently redirect your focus to your breathing.
- Guided imagery. With your eyes closed, visualise a tranquil setting, like a seaside or woodland. Engage all your senses to vividly imagine the scenery.
- Progressive muscle relaxation. Begin by contracting the muscles in your feet briefly, then release them. Progress to your calves, thighs, abdomen, chest, arms, and so on, tensing and subsequently relaxing each muscle cluster.
- Yoga. Yoga merges physical postures with synchronized breathing and meditation. Specific yoga postures, such as the downward dog and child’s pose, can alleviate tension and decrease pain in the back and neck.
- Other home remedies. Physical activity offers a plethora of health advantages, one of which is the release of endorphins – the body’s innate pain-relieving chemicals. Hot and cold treatments can be as uncomplicated as indulging in a warm bath or shower to soothe aching muscles, while an ice pack can diminish inflammation and numb pain.
Pain management strategies differ based on pain type, severity, and an individual’s overall health and medical background. It’s imperative to consult a healthcare expert before initiating any pain management routine.
Holistic pain management at Chiva-Som
Chiva-Som provides several programmes potentially beneficial for pain management, such as the Optimal Performance and Natural Renewal retreats.
- Optimal performance. By enhancing physical capability, pain can be alleviated. The programme comprises customised exercise sessions, physiotherapy, aqua therapy, and assorted holistic therapies like acupuncture, deep-tissue massage, and hydrotherapy.
- Natural renewal. This prioritises restoring equilibrium naturally. The programme incorporates traditional Thai treatments, including Thai massage and herbal compresses, along with other holistic methods like meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises.